Flexible Energy Management
Microsoft also is looking to give IT administrators and users greater flexibility in using the power management features, Leznek said. In Vista, IT administrators could institute group policy dictating whether the features would be active, and users couldn't change it. With Windows 7, IT administrators not only can make policy on energy management, but also decide which users can make individual changes. The goal is to make energy management something users want to do, rather than something that is forced on them, he said.In addition, Windows 7 offers a troubleshooting platform for a variety of issues, including power management. If there is a problem with a power management aspect of the computer, the user can go to the control panel and have the computer fix it. Leznek said that capability is an example of Microsoft trying to make energy management not only more comprehensive, but also less complex. "It is a fine line," he said. "We're enabling [IT professionals] to do what they want to do without making it a burden on them." To cut power consumption and improve battery life, Microsoft also has introduced a number of enhancements in such areas as DVD playing and audio playback, search, Internet browsing, and some games.
IT administrators also will be given a set of diagnostics incorporated into the PowerCfg.exe utility that will let them find problems across their systems that could impact energy efficiency. They can also detect applications and open network files that prevent a computer from entering Sleep and Hibernate modes. Users can typing powercfg /ENERGY in an elevated Command Prompt window and start tracing events on the computer. In addition, the command generates HTML or X M L reports that identify problems related to energy efficiency.